A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits by Carol and Dinah Mack

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A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits by Carol and Dinah Mack

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Category: Popular Science
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Loralei Haylock
Reviewed by Loralei Haylock
Summary: This field guide covers a whole host of demonic creatures from the well known Mermaids, to the lesser known Yunwi Djunsti and Kumbhakarna. Mischievous and entertaining, this is Mythology how it should be.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 288 Date: October 2008
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 978-1846681394

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This book was republished in October 2010 as A Field Guide to Demons, Vampires, Fallen Angels and other subversive spirits by Carol K Mack and Dinah Mack

I should probably mention before I start this review that I have a bit of an obsession with mythology and folklore. A casual glance at my bookshelf shows a selection of thick reference books, and many of my favourite fiction books have their roots in some of the various mythologies from around the world.

While I love the fiction, most of the text books I'll probably never read, despite having spent a fair amount of money on them. The problem with most books on mythology is they are often written by academics for academics. Though informative, they can be a bit dry. The problem with entertaining books on mythology is they are generally written for kids, and don't tell you much more than you already know. If you want something that will tell you more than what you know from reading Harry Potter and watching Supernatural you have to take such a huge step up in your reading.

That's why books like A Field Guide to Demons etc are great. Carol and Dinah Mack both know their stuff – they both have Masters Degrees, in religious studies and cultural anthropology respectively. You feel confident in their knowledge, and trust that what they are telling you is accurate, which is important for any good reference book. But, the thing that makes A Field Guide to Demons etc better than all the dusty books on my shelves, is that the Macks are both writers. They know how to entertain an audience, and the book is a hundred times better for it.

Written as though each of the demons is real, the information is divided into general information, lore on the creature, and 'disarming and dispelling techniques'. There is an introduction, basic information on how to identify fairies and demons, and a brief but informative 'Origin of the Species', but beyond these initial chapters, the book rarely gets bogged down in academia, concentrating more on the stories told about the creatures.

The book covers all the well known characters – werewolves, ghouls, mermaids, along with a whole host of fiendish creatures I'd never heard of from across the globe. It is written for beginners, but provides plenty of information, keeping a careful balance between simplicity and thorough coverage of each creature.

So, if you know anyone who is travelling to South Africa and might need to know how to protect themselves from the vicious Abatwa fairies, or want to know how to protect your children from Changelings, A Field Guide to Demons etc is the perfect book for you. Mischievous and entertaining, this is Mythology how it should be.

My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy.

Buy A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits by Carol and Dinah Mack at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits by Carol and Dinah Mack at Amazon.co.uk


Buy A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits by Carol and Dinah Mack at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits by Carol and Dinah Mack at Amazon.com.

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